(WCSC) - The FDA is advising dog owners against giving their pets "bone treats" following receiving reports of illness and deaths related to the treats.
The FDA says they have received about 68 reports of pet illnesses and about 15 pet deaths related to "bone treats," which are described as treats processed and packaged for sale as dog treats.
Illnesses reported to the FDA by owners and veterinarians include gastrointestinal obstruction, cuts and wounds in the mouth or on the tonsils, choking, vomiting, diarrhea, bleeding from the rectum.
The reports included treats described as "Ham Bones," "Pork Femur Bones," "Rib Bones" and "Smokey Knuckle Bones."
The products may be dried through a smoking process or by baking and may contain other ingredients such as preservatives, seasonings, and smoke flavorings.
"Giving your dog a bone treat might lead to an unexpected trip to your veterinarian, a possible emergency surgery, or even death for your pet," veterinarian in the Center for Veterinary medicine Carmela Stamper said.
The FDA warns pet owners to be careful when throwing things in the trash, as dogs are notorious for helping themselves to the turkey carcass or steak bones that may be thrown away.
It also suggests pet owners talk with their veterinarian about other toys or treats that are most appropriate for your dog.
"We recommend supervising your dog with any chew toy or treat, especially one she hasn't had before," Stamper says. "And if she 'just isn't acting right,' call your veterinarian right away!"